Three women, one holding a tennis racket, before a statue at Schenley High School, Pitssburgh, PA. Credit: Charles Teenie Harris, photographer. Teenie Harris Photograph Collection, 1920-1970, Carnegie Museum of Art
Absolutely love this first of a series of retro photographs that reflects the spirit of Black History Album’s byline, “The Way We Were,” placed in contemporary setting. Help support the Black Americana series on Indiegogo. Be sure to also check out their tumblr page here.
“Island in the Sun”, a first installment in the ground-breaking series “Black Americana” re-introduces, and reclaims the image – the representation of free Black women and men living their lives openly and beautifully. The series seeks to offer a broader lens of Black American life not often seen – a restoration of Black bodies on a summer day in 1950’s America. “The beach setting is significant.” says Brandon Littlejohn, Creative Producer of “Black Americana”. “Beaches are visually associated with affluence in urban areas because of Black people’s limited access.” Littlejohn continues, “I wanted to capture Black young women and men in these spaces, because after all, this was a reality for Black people during this time.” This is the other side of the southern Black domestic worker; the other side of the Black male porter. This too was Black American life, in all of its splendor.